Signs Remind Warren County Travelers About New Invasive Species Transport Law

Up to $5K or 15 days in jail for violation

 

Lake George, NY – June 15, 2012– Warren County started posting signs this week to remind the public about the new county invasive species transport law.

(Pictured left to right) LGA Director of Education Emily DeBolt, Warren County Board of Supervisors Chairman Dan Stec, Lake George Supervisor Dennis Dickinson, LGA Executive Director Walt Lender, and Beth Gilles of the Lake Champlain-Lake George Regional Planning Board stand with a new warning sign. The sign was designed by the LGA and LCLGRPB and will be posted around the county to warn travelers about the new Warren County law prohibiting the transport of aquatic invasive species.

Violators can be fined as much as $5,000 and sentenced to as many as fifteen days in jail. 

The county law, a first of its kind for New York State, makes the introduction and transport of aquatic invasive species into any Warren County waterbody illegal.  People can transport aquatic invasives into the county on a boat, trailer, personal watercraft, in an aquarium, on fishing equipment or in a bait bucket.  If a person transports aquatic invasive species on a public road, releases invasives into a stream, pond or lake, or launches an infested boat, they are violating the law.

“The LGA worked for weeks with the county supervisors to help draft this law, which is based on a law that is still pending at the state level,” said Lake George Association Executive Director Walt Lender.

“We are very excited that the county is being so proactive and leading the fight against invasive species, said LGA Education Director Emily DeBolt. “Now we hope Washington and Essex will consider passing similar laws to further help protect the Lake because we don’t know when something will get passed at the state level. We can’t afford to wait,” she said.

The Lake George Association and the Lake Champlain Lake George Regional Planning Board worked together to design the sign (pictured at right). The county is printing the signs. LCLGRPB is working with the New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation to coordinate posting the sign on state launches on other sites in the county. LCLGRPB is also working with the Adirondack Lake Alliance to identify launch locations in the county.

A few of the aquatic invasive plants that people need to be on the alert for, because they are highly invasive, include: Eurasian watermilfoil, water chestnut, curly-leaf pondweed, hydrilla, and Brazilian elodea (waterweed), which is still sold in local aquarium shops. Photos of these species can be seen on the LGA’s Facebook Page in the Invasive Species Album. 

The public can also learn more about these invasives at an upcoming Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP) plant identification workshop. The workshop will be held from 10am-2pm at Darrin Fresh Water Institute in Bolton Landing on Thursday June 21. After attending the workshop, volunteers can work for the LGA Invaders Watch Citizen Science program, to lookout for non-native, invasive species along Lake George’s shorelines, and help prevent their spread.

In addition, the general public can refer to a new website -- www.protectLakeGeorge.org -- for more information on how to clean their boats prior to launch, to prevent the spread of invasive species.

Lake George currently has four invasive species: (left to right) Asian clam (discovered August 2010), Curly-leaf pondweed, Eurasian watermilfoil (discovered in 1985), and Zebra mussel (discovered in 1999). Comparatively, nearby waterbodies have many more, posing a serious threat to Lake George. The Great Lakes have 184 invasive species. The St. Lawrence River has 87. Lake Champlain has 49. The Hudson River has 91.  This is one reason why the new Warren County law banning the transport of invasive species is important.

About the LGA

The LGA is a non-profit membership organization of people interested in working together to protect, conserve, and improve the beauty and quality of the Lake George Basin. It is the nation’s oldest lake association.  For more information, contact the LGA at 518-668-3558 or visit the LGA website at www.lakegeorgeassociation.org.

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